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Palace dismisses double-digit drop in Duterte rating: ‘Still ahead of his predecessors’



Malacañang on Friday took pride that President Rodrigo Duterte scored an “unprecedented” net satisfaction rating in his final year in office, saying it was not alarmed over its double-digit decline from a previous survey.

Presidential spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said Duterte’s +62 net satisfaction rating in the Social Weather Stations (SWS) June 2021 poll was welcomed by the administration.

“We consider this high satisfaction rating unprecedented, as comparable data from previous presidents indicate this is the highest net satisfaction rating of the beginning of a chief executive’s final year in office,” Roque said.

He pointed out that the late former President Benigno Aquino III had a 30 percent net satisfaction rating a year before he left office in June 2015, while ex-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had a -31 percent rating a year before stepping down from the presidency.

Likewise, Roque said former President Fidel V. Ramos’ rating was at 49 percent in 1997, while the late President Corazon Aquino posted a 24 percent satisfaction rating in 1991.

The Palace official then dismissed concerns that Duterte’s +62 net satisfaction rating in the SWS June 2021 survey was lower than his +79 rating in the November 2020 poll and +65 rating in the May 2021 survey.

The net satisfaction rating refers to the number of poll respondents who said they were satisfied with the President’s performance, minus the number of those who said otherwise.

“We expect that each President experienced a decline in his trust and satisfaction ratings ahead of elections,” Roque said.

“Of course, ahead of the elections, critics will find a way to bring down the administration’s ratings for them to win,” he added.

Impressions, ratings

Jorge Tigno, an SWS fellow and a political science professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman, hypothesized that Duterte’s record-high satisfaction score in the November 2020 survey may be caused by the public’s impression that the Covid-19 has been contained.

The poll was conducted eight months after the country first recorded its Covid-19 infection. Months later, the Philippines saw another resurgence of coronavirus infections, forcing the Duterte administration to reimpose enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila.

“I would situate that in that context, when people were sensing that, okay, this is now starting to be over and we’re relieved, this has happened and that we’re satisfied with what the government has done,” Tigno said in a media forum organized by the SWS on Thursday.

The Philippines has so far confirmed 2.43 million cases of Covid-19. Over 37,405 Filipinos have so far died due to the disease.